Baroness Howard of Lympe, also known as Sandra Howard, wife of Conservative MP Michael Howard, was an ‘it girl’ and Vogue model in the 60s. Her experiences form the basis of her new best-seller ‘Tell The Girl’, which she admits is very loosely based on her life as a model, and it features her real-life friends like Sinatra, the Kennedys and Marilyn Monroe.
She tells me: “Many of the stories happened and I hope that it will be turned into a TV drama, but I have no idea who would play me. Who do you suggest?” Well, Press readers, let me know...
Gordon Ramsay’s daughter Tilly is to front a CBBC cookery show. The 12-year-old will present the untitled programme, which will also feature appearances from her 13-year-old twin brother and sister, Jack and Holly. The show will be produced by Gordon’s production company One Potato Two Potato, and will be shot in the US. It will air at some point next year...
Comedian Jo Brand is to present The Great British Bake Off’s BBC Two spin-off show. The Great British Bake Off - An Extra Slice, will feature bonus interviews and footage from the heats of the hit baking programme. But as Jo reveals: “I think actually it will also just be me eating lots of cake as well.”
Emmerdale is set to welcome Duncan Preston back as a regular on the soap. The Yorkshire-born actor will reprise his role as Doug Potts in September, after leaving the Dales to rekindle life with ex-wife Hilary. Duncan tells me: “I am so glad to be back, and expect fireworks with Diane again ... it’s wonderful.”
Fresh from low ratings on Daybreak and being ‘let go’ from the main show, Lorraine Kelly thinks she may be better suited as a writer of novels. She said: “It’s a passion I have had for a while, and yes, I like the idea, but would anyone buy it, that’s the thing?” Would you?
Mary Berry has criticised other cookery shows, saying that they appear not to be entirely honest with viewers. “I see many and I don’t like what I see, because they are cheating the viewer,” she said. “I come from ours thinking at least we have been truthful, and you can actually make the things we are showing you on screen, and I am very pleased with that.”
Did you know that Helen Worth, who has just celebrated over 40 years on Coronation Street, was all set to be killed off in 2001? A source tells me that the producer at the time decided it would make great ratings, but changed his mind when he realised what it would cost to pay off the actress’s contract, which still had a year to run.
Helen Worth also recently called Les Dennis’ character ‘Les’ instead of his name when filming on Corrie. A source tells me: “I had hoped viewers would not actually notice, but it appears many did. We just film the show very fast now, and have no time for edits.”
Only Fools and Horses’ star Nicholas Lyndhurst tells me that he has a reputation as being an actor who is aloof and rude, but it’s not the case as: “I am really shy, and so people think I am that way, but I do think all actors deep down are rather shy, don’t you?”
Returning to EastEnders, John Altman, who plays Nasty Nick, said: “After a five-year break I’m very pleased, and very much looking forward to returning. It started 30 years ago next year, I am hopeful that I am part of that big event and the producers told me ‘we wanted soap’s best bad boy back’, so here I am.”
Dame Maggie Smith will have a ‘brilliant storyline’ in the next series of Downton Abbey, the show’s executive producer has said. Dame Maggie will be at the centre of the storyline on the big Christmas special and the new series, as a recent poll shows she is “the most popular character”.
Coronation Street star Kym Marsh is to appear in a new Northern Irish production of Bram Stoker’s gothic tale Dracula, as one of the brides. Kym tells me: “I am lucky that they allow me off to return to the stage, and I relish this opportunity ,and think it’s the challenge I need.”
Ian McShane, who played rogue dealer Lovejoy in the 90s, wants the show to return but focusing on his on-screen daughter Vicky. “I think it could still work and people ask me about it all the time, so why not,” he said. “There was interest from Sky and I own all the rights, but that seems to have fizzled out now.”
People laughed at the 80s show Bullseye with comedian Jim Bowen, but now Gabby Logan is to host a celebrity darts competition on BBC Two in 2015. It’s for charity, and I was told: “It will be a lot of fun, and the celebrities will be in for a hard time.”
Sheree Murphy has revealed more details about her Neighbours character, promising that newcomer Dakota Davies will be a “minx”. The former Emmerdale and Hollyoaks star has landed a six-week guest stint in the role of Dakota, a British businesswoman, who is an old flame of a male Erinsborough resident.
Dragons’ Den’s Piers Linney has revealed he has no interest in becoming the next Lord Sugar, with his own Apprentice-style show. “They have offered me lots of stuff since appearing on the show, but I am way too busy, and just happy, where I am to be honest, so I will stay put in the den for now,” he said.
Sir Bruce Forsyth is to host a special variety show for BBC One, his first new presenting role since stepping down as the host of Strictly Come Dancing. Sir Bruce told me that “the show is a one-off for now, but if successful it could take off into a series, which I would like very much.”